Miami’s City Commission approved a plan 10 ten years of Formula One racing in the city along a course that looked like a demented bobby pin monstrosity. This proposed layout was so bad that Lewis Hamilton offered to step in and fix it. For this and other reasons the race will never happen, but now it will especially not happen until 2020, at the very least.
The at-least-year-long delay was announced in a press release on the Formula 1 official website, that opens up with an extremely-British “whilst” from F1 Managing Director of Commercial Operations Sean Bratches:
“Whilst our preference would have been to race in Miami in 2019, there was always a point by which delivering the best possible wheel-to-wheel racing experience for our fans, drivers and teams wouldn’t be possible in the time available. We have now reached that point as far as racing in Miami in 2019 is concerned.
“However, we are taking a long-term view and as a result, we have decided, in consultation with the Miami authorities, to postpone sign-off until later in the summer, with the aim of running the first Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix in the 2020 season.
And if you had any misconceptions that this wasn’t because of the bent-crazy-straw of a race track, allow Bratches to further disabuse you of that notion (emphasis mine):
“We have always said that we wouldn’t compromise on delivering the best possible race, for the people of Miami, our fans and the 1.8 billion people who watch F1 globally every year, and if that meant waiting until 2020, then that was far more preferable than signing off on a sub-optimal race track, just to do a deal.
“At every stage of this process we’ve enjoyed positive collaboration and co-operation with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, Port of Miami, Bayfront Parks Management, residents and businesses. As a result of these discussions, we have listened and adapted our plans, including elements of the track layout.
The thing is, the “sub-optimal race track” was likely initially proposed because that’s what the organizers could get interested parties to sign on for, and any changes to that would likely be harder.
And if you think that’s an easy hurdle to clear, allow us to introduce you to the once-imagined Grand Prix of Suburban New Jersey.
When the Grand Prix of Miami actually does end up happening, I will gladly eat Pollo Tropical with the frankly revolting idea of whatever the hell “Pineapple Rum sauce” is.
But not until then.